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PARIS MASTERS

Djokovic ready to defend Paris title as Murray closes on No 1

The reigning world number one said he has got over the mental fatigue that has dogged him in recent months as he faces a battle for the number one spot.

Djokovic ready to defend Paris title as Murray closes on No 1
Zhong Zhi Getty Images

World number one Novak Djokovic says he is fully motivated again and in a "better state of mind" than he has been during a relatively barren run since his French Open success in June as he prepares to defend his title at the Paris Masters

The Serbian has won only one tournament, the Toronto Masters in July, since completing the career slam at Roland Garros.

"Less motivated"

"Winning the French Open this year has brought a lot of joy to me but on the other hand has taken away a lot from me, as well. I felt a little bit exhausted, I must say, and maybe less motivated," Djokovic told a news conference on Sunday.

Djokovic was knocked out of Wimbledon in the third round, the first time he had failed to make it through to a grand slam final since the 2014 US Open, before being eliminated in the first round at the Olympics.

"So I had to kind of rediscover that feeling of being on the court and keep pushing myself," he said. "I guess it took a little bit of time, more time, and I'm just -- I'm in a better state of mind at the moment than I was some months ago."

Tough draw in Paris

Djokovic has been handed a tough route to the title in Paris, where he will start in the second round against Spain's Nicolas Almagro or in-form Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.

He faces a potential semi-final clash against US Open champion Stan Wawrinka and looming is a battle for the world number one spot with Britain's Andy Murray, who beat France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final in Vienna on Sunday.

Djokovic is not losing any sleep, however. "I have been in these particular situations before in terms of ranking, so I know what to do, and I just keep things very simple," he said.

Murray can become number one in Paris

Olympic and Wimbledon champion Murray can take over the world number one ranking if he wins in Paris and Djokovic fails to reach the final.

He can also take over top spot if he reaches the final and Djokovic loses before the semis in the French capital.

Murray took his recent run to 15 straight victories in which he has picked up the China Open and Shanghai Masters titles as well.

He now has 42 career titles and second in Vienna after also winning in 2014.